Lucinda Hardesty Stuenkel of Palmer, Kansas, boosts soil health on her farm near Palmer, Kansas, by using holistic management techniques such as integrating multi-species plantings, multi-species grazing and more regenerative agriculture, with an aim of growing more nutritious plants and livestock.
Stuenkel became became manager of her farm after the untimely death of her husband and brother-in-law in a vehicle accident. She sought a way for women and children to farm, using techniques that helped them farm with less muscle. She uses methods of gentle animal care so livestock choose to act in a mutually beneficial manner.
“Imagine how much more abundant everything will be by working with nature instead of against it,” she said. “We know if we rest our pastures between grazing episodes that we have more than twice as much forage. We know when we support the soil microorganisms by reduced tillage and no chemical sterilization from fertilizers/herbicides/pesticides that our soil nutrient levels rise off the charts. We know there is a synergistic effect from planting different varieties of plants beside each other that far outweighs the financial and biological cost of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides.”